Adventures with Arturia (Part4 – Kudos to Hello Music!)

I bought my Arturia Analog Factory from a daily deals site for musicians called Hello Music. I’m usually careful with sites and offers like those because often they just seem too good to be true. I always thought they held down prices by selling out of production stuff, refurbished / returned goods and so on, and you never know for sure what after-service and returns are going to be like. Still, I kept an eye on this site in particular because they seemed legit based on some basic background checks.

And so, one day a mic from MXL popped up and the deal was just too good to pass on. The site says that shipping can sometimes take up to three weeks depending on demand, but after less than a week the package showed up and the contents were brand new and flawless. This really helped build confidence in the service and since then I’ve bought guitars, drum machines and other stuff, all without any issues. Almost…

The Arturia controller turned out to be a different story.

Ever since it showed up there was trouble, first with the license installation and then with the actual physical hardware. Since I didn’t want to go through the hassle of having to return the hardware (I also didn’t want to part with it for a longer period), I got in touch with Arturia in France directly and tried to diagnose and fix the problem that way. Unfortunately, even though the Arturia team was very helpful and forthcoming, at the end there was no other option but to do a return.

One thing to keep in mind with Hello Music is that they are most likely not an authorized reseller of the product they carry. This means that some manufacturers will refuse to honor the manufacturer guarantee that you usually take for granted. To compensate for this, Hello Music offers their own 365 day return / exchange policy for any issue that would normally have been covered by the manufacturer.  Shipping is paid for and handled by them. I know this probably sets off alarm bells for some, but after giving up on resolving my issue with Arturia directly, I decided to take Hello Music up on their offer.

I got in touch with the Hello Music support team via email, described my issue and explained that I’d worked directly with the manufacturer but that they also agreed this was simply a dead unit. Within just a few hours Hello Music’s customer support got back, offered their apologies  and simply asked wether I wanted to drop off the goods at a shipping location, or schedule a pick-up. No hoops, no questions, just a straight up exchange. A short email conversation followed where we discussed how and when to ship the unit, but the support team always answered very promptly and friendly.

The Arturia controller has now been sent back and an exchange is on it’s way.

In the end I was happily surprised by Hello Music’s excellent customer support and attitude, and I wanted to give them a shout for an awesome service.

(And to answer your question, no I’m not in any way affiliated.)

Check them out: http://www.hellomusic.com/

No new stuff today…

Sorry, no new material to upload yet. I had a good thing going yesterday until the Analog Factory VST blew up last night and randomly started forgetting settings and selections. (No, my trance lead is not an electro harp simulation, but it did sound kind of funky).

Probably my fault in part since I had like 6 instances loaded at the same time but it still hurt. So, I’ve decided to go a bit easier on the synth until I can afford a better, less CPU intense and more stable one. Eyes set on Massive from NI at the moment.

Actually, the importance of being able to model your own synth sounds is getting more and more obvious to me…

Adventures with Arturia (Part 3)

So after much back and forth with Arturia’s support desk we (I and Arturia) have come to the conclusion that the controller has some form of hardware malfunction. This would normally we covered by the warranty so I’m currently in the process of doing an exchange via the reseller. I wouldn’t hold this against Arturia though. Their support have been very very helpful and a malfunctioning controller could make it through the QC of any brand/maker. Should you find yourself in a similar situation don’t hesitate to contact Arturia. I’m sure they will do what they can to support you.

Adventures with Arturia (Part 2)

So I got a response back from Arutia’s support staff regarding the issue with the unresponsive keyboard, and I learned something interesting in the process that I thought I’d share.

You can reset the internal memory in the keyboard by holding down the [+] and [-] buttons (the ones that control the octave) as you power it on. When you do you will see all the buttons light up and flash a few times before going back to normal.

Next you should power off the keyboard and then turn it back on again to make sure you are all reset.

Unfortunately this did not resolve my issue, but maybe it can help some one else…

The quest to bring the keyboard back to life continues…

Adventures with Arturia

So I have this ongoing adventure with a French instrument maker called Arturia. A few weeks ago I picked up one of their hybrid controllers, the Analog Experience ‘Factory’ version, which is a 32 key midi controller / software combination. (Thus the ‘hybrid’ designation.)

To be honest I got it as much for just the software since I already had a midi controller keyboard (Novation Impulse 25), but the hardware is also very nice and the extra 7 keys is a welcome addition.

However, trouble began the day the kit arrived. After unboxing, setup and software installation I tried to activate the software using Arturia’s online activation system. This is basically a virtual dongle handled by a third party application called E License Manager. Arturia requires you to register your device on their website, which gives you a unique activation code to be keyed into the licence manager. The license manager will then download a second key for the Analog Factory software and activate it.

My problem was that when I tried to put in the activation code given to me by Arturia’s registration website, the license manager software told me this code had already been used.

I opened a helpdesk ticket with Arturia and after a couple of business days their support was able to reset the license database and get me a key that works.

After looking through the Arturia forums and other web resources it would seem that this is a fairly common problem for new users.

Anyways, after I got the code working all was well for about a week, until the Analog Factory software crashed during use. A software crash is usually not a big deal, but after restarting the software I can no longer get the host computer to recognize the hardware controller keyboard. When I plug it in it lights up happily and the LED enhanced buttons all react as they should, yet no software on the host computer acknowledges that the keyboard is plugged in. I’ve tried obvious things such as switching USB ports, reinstalling the drivers and software and so on, but still no luck.

I currently have a helpdesk ticket open with Arturia and we’ll see where that leads.